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PIA Press Release

PAMB reviews management style to save Agusan Marsh

By Herzon F. Gallego

Butuan City (30 November) -- Members of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) in Caraga Region have reviewed anew its management strategy on lakes in protected areas throughout the region to avert the conversion of marshland into a landscape of agriculture.

The PAMB which is headed by the DENR Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser has made the move during its last en-banc session held in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Monday last week following public knowledge that the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is slowly changing its landscape because many residents prefer to adopt palm oil, rice fields and fast-growing tree plantations rather than a wet land.

PENRO Sixto Badua of Agusan del Sur in his capacity as Protected Area Superintendent of Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary said the onslaught of agricultural crop plantation in some parts of the marshland may affect the ecological system of the existing environment in that area. He urged his colleague to make positive steps while options for improvement are still open for consideration.

"Let us be guided by the lessons taught us by the destruction of the environment that resulted in floods and landslides that killed many lives of people in Ormoc, Leyte several years ago " PENRO Badua told his fellow members.

He said that the people must appreciate the importance of the Agusan Marsh to their daily lives to protect it and preserve the biodiversity in it. It would cost billions of pesos to rehabilitate the marsh" Badua said.

In the en-banc meeting presided over by the Regional Technical Director of Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services Mario Eludo on Monday last week, the board members have sought for a regular operation fund to support its enforcement, advocacy and education campaign in all protected areas in the region.

Eludo said the board is resolved to impose fees for movement of forest products passing through the tributaries of the Agsuan Marsh to raise funds for operation.

The PAMB has also reported that several livelihood projects are being considered for approval to generate employment and improve the income of the people in the area.

Eludo also reported the accomplishment of the PAMB this year in which 21 resolutions were made which were mostly focused on prevention, control and protection.

But the most remarkable resolution passed by the board members is the request to Congressman Rodulfo G. Plaza to work on the immediate passage of the House Bill 176 and 1071 which established Agusan Marsh as Protected Area and Wildlife Sanctuary.

The said House Bill which is sponsored by Senators Jamby Madrigal and Pia Cayetano is still pending at the lower house due to political developments. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga) (PIA) [top]

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